My Travel papersTravel with Purpose
Seeing the World One Adventure at a Time
Imagine going to Japan and skipping Tokyo or traveling to Peru without visiting Machu Picchu. That’s how I roll.
My travels revolve around friends, family and volunteering. I visit the odd tourist spots, though they are not the destination. I collect silly stories about a chicken laying an egg on my friend’s pillow in a Peruvian hostel or a group of friends inviting themselves on my date in Playa Del Carmen. My friend and I skipped Machu Picchu to literally hang out in the Sacred Valley. We received instructions on how to find the Temple of the Moon in Cusco missed by the busloads of tourists at neighboring sites. In Cuba I got to see some speleothems, specifically mushroom shaped, stalagmites that only occur in that particular cave, but I didn’t bother going to Havana.
Volunteer trips offer a different perspective, because we help locals with projects to enhance their communities. In Mexico, we surveyed surface caves as most people were more interested in the underwater variety. On a Peru trip we installed solar panels in the rural Andes, 4000 m above sea level in some places. In Cuba we counted bats to keep track of endangered species. Learning some Spanish enhanced the experience as I could communicate with the local groups we were helping.
If I have to pick a favorite place, it would be Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory. It reminds me of my childhood home with easier access to big box stores, even if the nearest big city is a flight away, rather than a simple car trip. My aunt moved there in 2012 and I have been visiting her since 2013 loving the people and the environment. Some people I met at a get together in Calgary had applied for summer jobs in Haines Junction, so I decided to copy them and apply in Whitehorse.
Travel Highlight Reel
Where travel takes me
My dream job is to do international, social work projects. During the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Olivier Testa presented a fun movie about developing rural Haiti for cave tourism. It’ll be a long term project training the locals with government support giving me time to brush up on my French and my caving skills. We live in such a fascinating world if we take the time to properly experience it, rather than surrender to our conditioned habits of rushing through a sightseeing checklist.
In the meantime, my home in Calgary is close to Banff and Lake Louise National Park. Waterton/Glacier International Peace Park is also nearby, by Canadian standards. Growing up in a mountain pass, I have a fondness for them as do all the other tourists these days. While I can’t snowboard anymore, I snowshoe from time to time in winter and day hikes in summer. My nephews are busy kids who also like to run around Waterton, in Red Rock Canyon or Bertha Falls, every summer. They also travel a lot. Before the age of ten they have been to Mexico, Yellowstone National Park, Alaska and Bangladesh in addition to Canadian destinations to visit family.
Other than the usual Banff/Canmore trips, Whitehorse was the last time I took a plane.
More than just fun in the sun, volunteering with a non-profit on a Cuba holiday leads to richer experiences.
Traveling to Cuba for Pleasure Cuba vacations are known for sensuality and sexuality along with gorgeous beaches, weather and people. Seeking more sensual things to do in Cuba, many foreigners experience all the island has to offer through salsa dancing. Many of the...